We all know the dreaded feeling of walking along and having to constantly pull up the leggings you've made. You spent valuable time sewing your leggings -they fit perfectly by the way, only to have the yogo waistband fall down every 5 steps. If this is you, a piece of floating elastic may be a great way to help your bands stay in place.
I discovered this method in a pair of ready to wear (rtw) leggings. There was a band of elastic toward the top of my waistband, literally floating! With the help of some great sewist minds, the "how" of this method was presented and accomplished!
Here's what you'll need to get started:
-Non-roll Elastic -The size depends on your preference. My favorite size is 3/8in elastic, but a smaller or larger size may work as well.
-Washable Marker/Tailor's Chalk/Bright Eyeliner (dark fabrics) (optional)
We're going to cut a piece of elastic the same length as our waistband. If you would like a more snug fit, I'd recommend cutting the elastic about 1/2 inch (or more depending on your preference) smaller than the waistband. If you choose the snug fit elastic, keep in mind that the elastic will slightly cinch in the waistband when the garment isn't in use.
You can rough cut the elastic, or use your pattern if you'd like to be more precise.
Now, take your waistband to the ironing board and press it in half width wise wrong sides together. At this moment, I just realized how much I need to clean my iron, but I digress!
This next part is optional, but it helps a ton when using fabrics that may not hold a press and for general visibility later on in the process. If you're using a black fabric, tailor's chalk or white/bright colored eyeliner will work!
Once you've pressed your waistband in half, open the waistband up to expose the wrong side. Mark the half way mark with a marker on both ends on the wrong side of the fabric. A piece of wonder tape might do well here as opposed to the marking technique, if that's your jam.
Grab your cut of elastic. Place the elastic right underneath the press line, or if you've marked your press line, place the top end of the elastic at the line you've marked on both ends. Clip/pin your elastic to the waistband. It should look something like this:
Next, we're going prep our waistband to be to sewn closed. Match the short ends of the waistband together, right sides together and clip/pin.
Take your waistband to your serger or sewing machine (use a zigzag or stretch stitch for sewing machines) and sew the short ends together, including the elastic. When using your serger, ensure that if your blade is engaged, that you do not utilize the blade -we don't want to cut the elastic!
Serge/sew right over the elastic. Remember to avoid using the blade while serging or disengage your serger blade if necessary. Ensure that the elastic stays on the press line and doesn't move.
Once you've serged/sewn your elastic to your waistband and your waistband closed, it should look something like this:
Now that we've sewn our elastic to our waistband and simultaneously sewn our waistband closed, you're ready to flip your waistband right sides out!
Now you're ready to attach your waistband to your leggings!
Here are some inside views of the waistband.